Consequences of Stress. Stress – what it is and how to cope with it? One word comes to mind when you imagine a modern society, work, streets, public transport congestion. This is the word “stress”. But we do not knowwhat it really is and what it causes to us?
What is stress?
Stress is a complete neurophysiological reaction of the organism to certain physical, mental and health irritations. Basically, “the idea” of stress is positive for the organism; subject to conditions that are considered extreme or at least problematic, the body is mobilized by stress and is preparing to respond to any problems.
Stress can be positive or negative. Positive stress can be, for example, in carrying out work with a nice result for the person who is doing it. Negative stress can be fear or paranoia. According to the classification of Selye, the positive stress is referred as “stress” and negative – as “distress”.
Placed under the influence of external factors, the body tries to adapt to specific conditions and this causes a reaction that Cannon referred to as“alarm” and Hans Selye named by its popular name today: “stress reaction”. Stress reaction is normal organismal response to the stress factor. Usually it is necessary to remove stressors to normalize the condition of the body.
What happens to the body under stress?
Although we know a lot about the biochemistry and physiology of stress it is not yet completely clear the mechanism of its formation.
If there is too increased muscle activity, there are increased catecholamines in the blood – a group of hormones secreted by the adrenal gland. They have a number of effects such as increased blood pressure, blood glucose levels, etc .. Immediately arises the response of the nervous system that activates the sympathetic. Moreover, the function of catecholamines is to activate the hypothalamus and its hormonal secretion by which it is capable of regulating body temperature, appetite, urinary tract, blood glucose levels. Adrenal hormones serve as intermediaries unlockable already created and accumulated hypothalamic hormones through which affects the glands like the pituitary. Probably great part of the response of the nervous system is triggered by the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus has experimentally proven link with sleep and alertness.
Modern science believes some of the emotions are caused by hypothalamic irritation. For example, fear and anger can be caused artificially by stimulating the hypothalamus. These two feelings are frequent companion in stressful situations
Why do we experience stress?
Stress for us is a bad word. During stress we do not feel good, we experience negative emotions. Then why the body has chosen stress precisely to combat problems? Stress usually arises through emotions, poisoning, infection, fatigue. These are the breeder factors that the body tries to cope.
The thing we do not clearly understand is that stress is extremely positive reaction to the body, related to changes that can not remain durable. Adrenal hormones strongly enhance the immune response, especially phagocytosis – the ability of white blood cells to absorb and neutralize foreign objects, as well as toxins and bacteria. Blood clotting increases – hence reducing the consequences of any injury. The increased blood flow and blood sugar create an energy reserve for muscle cell. Increased bronchi improve the contact of the blood with oxygen, and thus deliver more oxygen to cells. Increased concentration and excitability help us deal where our participation is wanted and reduce the feeling of pain. Emotions such as anger, fear or motivation unlock the sense of self-preservation and purposefulness in action. Suppressed appetite and action of the urinary system removes distraction. Briefly our body becomes a “superorganism”, hoping to eliminate stressors.
How did your body react to stress?
Modern science accepts stages of Hans Selye. He formulated three basic stress stages.
1. Stage of alarm, alarm response. This is the step of unlocking the stress in the body. In this stage are noticed the mentioned so far processes. It takes several hours to two days depending on the irritation. The reaction leading to discontinuation is on hold. The resistance of the organism to stress at this stage is low.
2. Stage of increased resistance – increased blood pressure and body temperature cause blocking of certain hormones and increased levels of blood sugar as increased insulin secretion, which in turn inhibits a lot of stress hormones. Gradual and controlled body returns to normal functioning. This is the normal ending of stress.
3. Exhaustion phase – this phase occurs if the stress factor is constant, eg mental or if the body is unable to cope with the problem. Here already reached the stage of “saturation” of the body due to ineffectual and very long stressful reaction. Persistently elevated levels of hormones lead to saturation of the receptors and increased resistance of the cells. Without eliminating stressors reactions subside body, the immune system weakens. Disappear and some of the stress symptoms, but overall the state is disease can even be life-threatening. The body’s ability to react is minimized.
How do we know we are under stress?
Stress has many symptoms that can be conditionally divided into two groups. One observable symptoms that are established by introspection. Other symptoms are physiological, verifiable research or having secondary manifestations, such as high blood pressure, dizziness, nausea and so on.
Visible symptoms of stress are:
- Anxiety, nervousness;
- Fear, anger;
- Heart palpitations;
- Poor appetite and digestion;
- Loss of body weight.
Physiological changes are more and will only mention some of them, including:
- Fluctuations in hormone levels;
- High blood pressure;
- Increased kravosasirvaemost;
- Increased glucose content in the blood;
- Rapid breathing;
- Acute immune response.
When stress is sustainable and leads to phases of exhaustion, ie it becomes uncontrollable, there is a frequently repeated infections or quickly capture in such stressed individual, weight loss, dizziness, allergic reactions, sweating also at night for no apparent reason, tremor and so on.
Diseases of the stress
Phase exhaustion leads to some serious illnesses. There is a proven link between stress and diseases like hypertension, ulcers, joint diseases, diabetes, Addison’s disease, Alzheimer’s Simmonds, etc. Many other diseases are suspected, but unproven connection with stress. Including some fatal ones. In fact, even the weakened immune response is sufficiently serious prerequisite for big problems.
Okay, but how do we protect ourselves? There are a number of treatments to eliminate stress. They are common relaxation, SPA procedures, aromatherapy, acupuncture, psychotherapy, meditation and yoga, self-control and auto-training, immune and healthy diet, exercise, entertainment, massages, Film and Television and many others.
But there is hardly a more important therapy and prevention of stress definition of stressors and their timely removal.
So stress is known companion of each of us. Stress is a physiological response to a specific problem causing factors of the external environment. The body goes into alarm mode, aiming to overcome the stressful effects. So it improves your chances of success, but not always succeeds. In cases where it fails, leading to fatigue and overload, decreased immunity, disease, even death.